Centennial Jayhawk

Posted on Jul 3, 2013 in Alumni News and News

John Sheaks, b’37, g’43, celebrated his 100th birthday on July 3 with a reception in Wichita. Lynn Loveland, assistant director of Kansas programs, attended the birthday party and presented a box of Jayhawk goodies to the centenarian.

According to his daughter-in-law, Mary Nelson, Sheaks attended college at the urging of a neighbor. He received a bachelor’s degree and MBA from KU and later taught at the University. He married Mary Ellen Thornburg in 1937 and they enjoyed nearly 70 years together.

The entrepreneurial Sheaks and his business partner, Larry Reder, owned and operated numerous businesses in north Wichita, including restaurants and grocery, furniture and appliance stores. He later worked in finance, insurance and real estate.

A long life well lived must be in his genes, Mary said– his mother lived to be 105.

Sheaks is pictured below with his two daughters, Judy Sheaks McKenna, c’63, and Susy Sheaks Hammons, c’66. Sheaks also has a son, Mickey.

John Sheaks | www.kualumni.org

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